Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre appeared recently on The MMA Hour, and told Ariel Helwani he had been near a deal with former CEO Lorenzo Fertitta when the UFC sold to WME-IMG, and “everything was put on ice until the new owners take charge.”
GSP then hired noted hired attorney James Quinn who set a deadline a fight offer. The UFC offered Robbie Lawler, but Lawler is taking time off, so Quinn apparently informed the fighter that his contract was terminated, leaving him free to sign with whatever promotion he wants to.
“The last day of the deadline, very late at night believe it or not, we received a letter,” said St-Pierre as transcribed by Brett Okamoto for ESPN. [The letter asked] if I was interested in fighting Robbie Lawler sometime. I knew Robbie Lawler had pulled out of the New York card. I don’t know the reason he pulled out, but I heard in an interview with King Mo he needed a long break. So, the next day, my lawyer told me, ‘Georges, now you’re a free agent.’”
Lawler, also a former division champion, was not impressed and accused GSP of hiding behind his name.
“I think everyone just kind of assumes [health] is the issue, but that’s not the facts,” said Lawler to Brett Okamoto for ESPN. “It’s one of those things where I wanted to take a step back and realize what I wanted and why I wanted it. My whole life I’ve went out there and strived, and this time I needed to take a step back, relax and not rush it — make sure all the pieces were in the perfect place.”
“He says he was offered a fight against me but I wasn’t healthy or whatever. He’s basically trying to read between the lines like other people, not knowing what’s the matter with me. Nothing is the matter with me. Do you accept the fight or not? That’s the real question, right? Because I’m ready to fight right now. Did you accept it or not? I’m guessing you didn’t. Don’t try to hide behind, ‘I’m not healthy.’ That’s not the facts.
“I’m always ready to fight that guy. I’ve been training my whole life to fight a guy like him — and him, in particular. So don’t use my name or try to hide behind something you think might be happening but is not. If he doesn’t want the fight, shut up.”
“[UFC president Dana White] said it the whole time, ‘GSP does not want to fight,’ and he most definitely does not want to fight me, period.”